Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Sources:

Description of Series

Series I. Musical Works, 1975-2010, undated

Series II. Career-related Materials, 1975-2010, undated

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Daniel Catán:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator: Catán, Daniel, 1948-2011
Title: Daniel Catán Papers
Dates: 1975-2010
Abstract: The Daniel Catán papers consist of audio files, awards, certificates, clippings, a diploma, photographs, posters, printouts of web pages, programs, scores, scrapbooks, serial publications, sheet music, and video files documenting the career of Daniel Catán, Mexican-born composer of operas and other musical works.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5283
Extent: 6 document boxes, 1 half-document box, 18 oversize boxes (osb) (10.29 linear feet), 1 oversize folder (osf)
Language: English and Spanish
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Daniel Catán was born April 3, 1949, in Mexico City. He owed his early interest in music to his parents: his mother encouraged him to take piano lessons, and his father was an enthusiastic admirer of popular music, particularly Cuban sones.

At the age of 14, Catán was enrolled in boarding school in England. He continued his studies in that country, receiving degrees in philosophy from the University of Sussex and in music from the University of Southampton. He then moved to the United States and in 1977 earned his doctorate in composition from Princeton University, where he studied under Milton Babbitt.

Following graduation, Catán returned to Mexico City, where he worked as a music administrator at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. During this period he founded and conducted the Camerata de la Nueva España, a chamber orchestra that gave concerts in Mexico City, including the premiere of his chamber opera, Encuentro en el ocaso, in 1980.

While he continued to write chamber works and orchestral and vocal pieces, opera steadily drew more and more of his creative energies. His second opera, based on an adaptation by Octavio Paz of the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, "Rappaccini's Daughter," was La hija de Rappaccini, which premiered in 1991 in Mexico City. After a disappointing reception by critics, the work gained new appreciation when Paz won the Nobel Prize for literature, and a subsequent production in San Diego, California, brought Catán increasing visibility.

His next opera, Florencia en el Amazonas, was commissioned jointly by Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Seattle Opera, and premiered in Houston in 1996 to critical and popular acclaim. Houston also premiered Salsipuedes: A Tale of Love, War, and Anchovies in 2004. This was followed by the highly successful Il postino, based on the 1994 film of the same name directed by Michael Radford. The first performance was by Los Angeles Opera. The role of Pablo Neruda was written for and created by tenor Plácido Domingo.

Catán died suddenly on April 8, 2011, in Austin, Texas, where he was serving as composer in residence at the Butler School of Music of the University of Texas at Austin. At the time of his death he was working on a commission from the university to write a new opera based on the 1941 Frank Capra film, Meet John Doe.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

The Daniel Catán papers consist of audio files, awards, certificates, clippings, a diploma, photographs, posters, printouts of web pages, programs, scores, scrapbooks, serial publications, sheet music, and video files documenting the career of Daniel Catán, Mexican-born composer of operas and other musical works. The papers are arranged in two series: I. Musical Works, 1975-2010, undated; and II. Career-related Materials, 1975-2010, undated.

The papers cover the entirety of Catán's professional career, from the period when he returned to Mexico after receiving his PhD until his death; however, the archive is not complete. For example, there are no materials relating to Catán's personal life and there is almost no correspondence. Also missing are the scores of a number of his smaller compositions such as his chamber works, his score for the film I'm Losing You, his work-related diaries, materials prepared for his published collections of essays, and the score for his last, uncompleted opera, Meet John Doe.

Series I. Musical Works is the largest portion of the archive and fills 18 oversize boxes. It is divided into two subseries: A. Operas, 1979-2010, undated; and B. Other Musical Works, 1975-2007, undated. Within each subseries works are arranged in alphabetical order and within each title, insofar as possible, manuscripts are arranged chronologically. This arrangement has been made difficult by the fact that Catán almost never dated any of his manuscripts; internal evidence, such as the sequence in which corrections have been made to scores, has been used where dates are lacking. Dates following the titles of works are the dates given in the catalog of his works by his publisher G. Schirmer Inc./Associated Music Publishers, in Grove Music Online, and in Catán's own list of his compositions found in the folder titled 'Curriculum.'

Throughout this finding aid, the following terminology has been used. "Vocal score" refers to a score showing all vocal lines, but with the accompaniment arranged for keyboard. A "close score" is a score giving all the parts on a minimum number of staves, normally two, as with hymns. "Condensed score" refers to a score giving only the principal musical parts on a minimum number of staves generally organized by instrumental sections.

There are a very small number of notes to and from Catán, mostly concerning the preparation of scores or the production of his operas. These have been left in place and are not indexed.

Subseries A. Operas contains material related to the composition of Catán's five completed operas. Catán frequently used sticky notes and flags to call attention to the locations of corrections in successive versions of his opera scores. For preservation reasons, these have been removed from his manuscripts. Where any of these tags bore writing, it has been photocopied in place and the photocopy inserted before the original manuscript page.

Subseries B. Other Musical Works contains the scores of his non-operatic output. Many of these scores are represented only as photocopies of the original manuscripts. Due to the age and condition of these photocopies, and the fact that the toner used has in some cases turned sticky over time, some portions of these scores have been interleaved to prevent pages from adhering together. Also, many of these scores were originally bound using plastic comb or coil bindings. Over time, many of these bindings have broken or deteriorated to the point where they were potentially harmful to the manuscripts. To better preserve the scores, these bindings, as well as any paper envelopes or ring binders that contained scores, have been removed; where the original cover bore any writing, a photocopy has been inserted in its place.

Series II. Career-Related Materials contains 7 boxes of awards, certificates, clippings, a diploma, posters, printouts of web pages, programs, scrapbooks, and serial publications. Much of this material arrived in file folders individually labeled. It is not certain that Catán had any part in arranging or labeling these folders, but their organization has been preserved, as have the folder titles, which are shown in single quotes.

Because the folder titles do not always clearly identify the contents, the following notes may be helpful. 'Basic Set' contains materials relating to the first performance of Florencia en el Amazonas. 'Curriculum' contains a biographical sketch and list of Catán's compositions. 'Florencia' also contains materials relating to Salsipuedes and other works. 'IInd Round Reviews' relates to the revival of Florencia en el Amazonas in Houston in 2004. 'Journals' refers to periodicals, not to diaries. 'Visita Baja California' refers to a stint teaching orchestration at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in 1997. There is a great deal of overlap among the folders, with the same printed material often appearing in more than one file.

Photographs primarily document the staging of his operas La hija de Rappaccini and Florencia en el Amazonas, but there are also photographs of mostly unidentified groups of people.

The material cataloged as "Scrapbooks" consists of five albums containing clippings, copies of concert programs, and some photographs. Because these albums employed a system of adhesive-coated pages with clear plastic overlays that has deteriorated over time, the albums are fragile, and consequently their use requires permission from a curator. The albums have been digitized and printouts are available for viewing.

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Access:

Open for research; some materials restricted because of fragile condition; digital surrogates are available.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

People
Catán, Daniel.
Domingo, Plácido, 1941- .
Paz, Octavio, 1914-1998.
Subjects
Composers.
Music--Manuscripts.
Operas--20th century.
Operas--21st century.
Document Types
Awards.
Clippings.
Photographs.
Programs.
Scores.
Scrapbooks.
Sheet music.

Return to the Table of Contents


Separated Material

Two unmarked published scores of Catán's composition Florencia en el Amazonas: Orchestral Suite based on the Opera, and one of Encantamiento have been transferred to the Ransom Center Library.

A silver medal presented to Catán by the Academia Medalla Mozart in 2009 was transferred to the Center's Personal Effects holdings.

Digital media, including CD-ROMs and DVDs containing digital photographs of costume and production designs, and PDF and SIB (the format of the music notation software Sibelius) files of opera scores, have been transferred to the Center's Electronic Records Collection.

Unpublished DVDs containing video recordings of opera performances were transferred to the Film Collection.

CD-ROMs and DVDs containing unpublished audio recordings of various rehearsals and performances of Catán's operas and other compositions as well as a 2004 interview in Spanish and English were transferred to the Sound Collection.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gifts, 2012 (12-05-005-G, 12-09-013-G)

Processed by:

Richard Workman, 2013

Return to the Table of Contents


Sources:

"Biography." Daniel Catán Foundation, http://www.catanfoundation.org (accessed 7 May 2013).

"Daniel Catán." G. Schirmer Inc., http://www.schirmer.com/ (accessed 11 June 2013).

Return to the Table of Contents


Container List

 

Series I. Musical Works, 1975-2010, undated

Subseries A. Operas, 1979-2010, undated
Container
1.1 Encuentro en el ocaso (1979), photocopy of handwritten full score, bound, undated
Florencia en el Amazonas
Opera (1996)
Container
1.2-4 Printout of full score with handwritten corrections, bound in 3 volumes, undated. Imprint of Boosey & Hawkes on cover only
Container
2.1-3 Printout of full score with handwritten corrections and handwritten manuscript inserted into first volume, bound in 2 volumes, undated. Two copies of the second volume, one signed
Container
3.1 Aracdio's aria, photocopy of handwritten full score, undated
Container
3.2-3 Printed full score, with handwritten corrections, bound in 2 volumes, printed 25 October 2006
Container
4.1 Vocal score, photocopy of handwritten manuscript, undated
Orchestral Suite based on the Opera (2003)
Container
4.2-5 4 printouts of full score, undated
Container
4.6 Published score with extensive handwritten corrections, bound, printed 14 July 2003
Container
4.7 Published score with handwritten corrections, bound, printed 2004, 'Last printing'
La hija de Rappaccini (also titled Rappaccini's Daughter, 1989)
Container
5.1 Photocopies of portions of libretto with handwritten notes, undated
Container
5.2-5 Handwritten full score, undated
Container
6.1 Photocopy of handwritten score for two pianos and harp, incomplete, undated
Printouts of score for two pianos, harp and percussion with handwritten corrections
Container
6.2-5 Imprint of G. Schirmer, Inc., undated
Container
7.1-4 Imprint of Associated Music Publishers, Inc., undated
Container
8.1-9 Various scenes, undated
Container
8.10-12 Printouts of score adapted by Mark Robson for two pianos, harp, percussion, and recorders with handwritten corrections, incomplete, undated
Container
9.2 Photocopy of handwritten and printed out close score with text in both Spanish and English, undated, with cover letter from Gordon Ostrowski dated 23 August 2001
Container
9.3-7 Printouts of various instrumental parts, undated
Container
9.1 Photocopy of handwritten vocal score, undated
Il postino (2010)
Container
9.8-9, 10.1-5 Photocopy of handwritten and printout full score, undated
Container
11.1-4 Printout of full score with extensive handwritten corrections, August 2009
Container
12.1 Printout of vocal score, 10 November 2008. 'New aria included & printed out fully'
Container
12.2 Printout of vocal score, March 2009
Salsipuedes: A Tale of Love, War and Anchovies (also titled Las bodas de Salsipuedes, 2004)
Container
12.3, 13.1-3 Various printouts, photocopies and handwritten manuscripts of portions of the full score, instrumental parts, sketches, and notes, many with handwritten corrections and annotations, 8 April 2003, undated
Container
13.4, 14.1-2 Photocopy of full score with handwritten corrections, undated
Container
14.3-4, 15.4 Printout of full score with occasional handwritten corrections, 'Revised and corrected' 25 July 2008
Container
15.1-3 Printout of vocal score, undated
Subseries B. Other Musical Works, 1975-2007, undated
Container
16.1 El Árbol de la vida for orchestra (1980), photocopy of handwritten score, undated
Container
16.2 Ausencia de flores, ballet (1983), 3 photocopies of handwritten score, undated
Caribbean Airs for percussion soloists and orchestra (2007)
Container
16.3-5 Handwritten and photocopied condensed score, incomplete, undated
Container
16.6 Printout of full score with handwritten corrections, incomplete, 5 December 2006
Container
17.1-3 Printout of full score with handwritten corrections, undated
Container
17.4-6 Printout of full score with handwritten corrections, undated. ''Final
Container
17.7 Contristada for tenor and orchestra (1991), various printouts and handwritten vocal scores and sketches, undated
Container
17.8 Cuando bailas, Leonor, for flute, oboe, cello and piano (1984), photocopy of handwritten score, undated
Container
17.9 Don Porfirio: vals de 'El vuelo del águila' for piano (1994), printout, undated
Container
17.10 En un doblez del tiempo (also titled A Fold in Time: Scherzo for orchestra, 1982), printout of full score, undated
Container
17.11 Hail the world's soul and mine!, printout of score for voice and piano with handwritten corrections and handwritten sketches, undated
Container
17.12 Hetaera Esmeralda, tone poem for orchestra (1975), photocopy of handwritten full score with handwritten corrections, undated
Mariposa de obsidiana for soprano, chorus and orchestra (1984)
Container
17.13 Photocopy of full score, undated
Container
17.14 Photocopy of close score with handwritten corrections, undated
El medallón de Mantelillos, musical play for singers, dancers, actors and chamber orchestra (also titled Historia de Mantelillos, 1982)
Container
18.1 Photocopy of typed libretto, undated
Container
18.2 Handwritten full score, undated
Container
18.3 Photocopy of handwritten full score, undated
Container
18.4 O Pardon Me for male chorus and timpani (2006), handwritten sketches and research notes, undated
Container
18.5 Ocaso de medianoche for voice and orchestra (1977), handwritten full score, undated
Container
18.6 A Prayer for Tiffany for orchestra, 2 printouts of full score, undated
Container
18.7 Tierra final for soprano and orchestra (1988), photocopy and printed facsimile of handwritten full score, 1989 and undated

Return to the Table of Contents




 

Series II. Career-related Materials, 1975-2010, undated

Container
19.1 'Articles before premiere,' 1996-1998, undated
Container
19.2 'Artículos en español,' 1982-2004
Container
19.3 'Awards,' 1998-2000, undated
Container
19.4 'Basic set,' 1991-2000, undated
Container
19.5 'Curriculum,' 1998, undated
Container
19.6 'Divertimento,' 2003-2004
Container
19.7 'Español,' 1996
Container
19.8 'Film,' 1999
Container
19.9-10, 20.1 'Florencia,' 2000-2008, undated
Container
20.2 'Florencia CD reviews,' 2002-2003, undated
Container
20.3 'Florencia reviews,' 1996-2000, undated
Container
20.4 'Florencia Seattle,' 2005, undated
Container
20.5-7 'General Catán Publicity,' 1997-2009
Container
21.1 Homenaje a Octavio Paz, CD insert, pasteups, 1991
Container
21.2 Houston Grand Opera press clippings, 1996
Container
21.3 'IInd round reviews,' 2001-2003
Container
21.4 'Internet,' 2001
Container
21.5-7, 22.1 'Journals,' 1996-2004
Container
22.2 'Lectures,' 1995-2004
Container
22.3 'Newspaper cuttings and concert programs,' 1975-1981
Container
22.4 Photographs, 1997, undated
Container
osf 1 Posters, certificates, awards, diploma, 1977-2010
Container
22.5-6 'Il Postino,' 2004-2010
Container
22.7 'Programs,' 1987-2005
Container
23.1 'Rappaccini's reviews,' 1997-2003, undated
Container
23.2 'Reviews (Rappaccini),' 1991-1994
Container
23.3 'Reviews Florencia international,' 1994-1997, undated
Container
23.4 'Salsipuedes,' 2004, undated
Container
23.5 'Schirmer,' 2001-2004
Container
23.6 Scrapbooks, 1979-1983 [Digital copy printout in Folder 23.6; originals in Boxes 24-25 may be viewed with curatorial approval]
Container
23.7 'Suite Florencia,' 2003-2004
Container
23.8 'Visita Baja California,' 1997
Container
24-25 Restricted materials (Do not page without curatorial approval)

Return to the Table of Contents